1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine - Half Acre Beer Company

Not Rated.
Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big MachineHalf Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 19.11%
Wants: 24
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A collaboration beer with Pipeworks and De Struise.

Red Belgian ale fermented with red currants and cherries. Brewed using traditional sour mash methods.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 06-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Wadsey:
Photo of Wadsey
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Small Animal Big Machine

Served in New Belgium tulip

A: Pours clear brown with amber highlights. Too dark to determine effervescence. Head and lacing is below average. 

S: Out of the fridge, main notes are dark fruits and vanilla. As the beer approaches room temperate, dark cherries become evident. There is another fruity quality, too, and I assume it is currants. Cocoa powder makes a surprise appearance.  Nothing  sour in nose. 

T: Okay, a little tartness joins above characteristics, but it is very, very mellow, earning a generous 2 on 10-point scale, with 10 as ass-puckeringly sour. The mild sourness is an issue because Struise himself called Small Animal Big Machine a red sour ale. The mild sourness functions to offset sweetness, of which there is a generous portion. Once again, the closer the beer comes to room temperature the more cherries and cocoa powder show up. 

M: Medium body and carbonation. A little heavy. Hints at syrupy, but never quite gets there. 

O: I'm giving Small Animal Big Machine the benefit of the doubt and rating it as a fruit beer. It certainly fits that better than a sour style.  In fact, it reminds me quite a bit of Bell's Cherry Stout, a comparison that will scare off some folks. 

Did they rush these bottles out the door? Or should it have been barrel-aged?  Whatever it is, Small Animals Big Machine doesn't come together for me and suffers from slightly below-average drinkability. 

More User Reviews:
Photo of Soonami
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to ThoreauLikeAGirl for sharing this bottle.

SABM sounded like a flanders red from the description, but it is not. It looked pretty good, a rusty red with a little film of foam. One taste and it was not nearly as sour as expected or desired. There are a lot of dried currant fruit flavor, there is no funky, just a little lactic acidity. The beer has a metallic, phenolic finish. A disappointment.

Photo of curtiswvu
4.7/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer from Half Acre and new ground from them, sampled on draft (in line) and later in the bottle once I got home from the release:

A: darker than expected, a nice cherry mahogany color. Beautiful white head. Perfect form.

S: Grapes, wine, Carmel and malt, suprising!

T: it own category. A very malty carmel beer but it tastes like it was aged in wine barrels with a Belgian yeast.

M: thick and bubbly all in balance. Bigger than
I expected no magic hat bs here!

Photo of Photekut
1.5/5  rDev -58.4%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of thanmad
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a lighter shade of burgandy with an off white agressive head.

The smell is good, but not very pronounced. There's a yeasty phenolic smell that develops into sweet and tart cherries.

The cherries highlight this beer, but don't dominate it. It's slightly tart, but gets pulled back the other way with a brown sugary sweetness. Overall, I like all the individual aspects of this one, but together they are a little odd.

I would have liked if this beer was a little more thin and prickly. It is medium bodied, but it seems to emphasize the sweet and not the tart.

I liked this beer and it was an interesting collaboration. I'd definitely have it again if it were available, but I know it won't be.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of claaark13
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shout out to Kayn169 on this one (growler). Edits have been made after a bottle serving.

A - I'm convinced that this category can be bogus. However, this beer poured fantastically from the growler. From a couple feet away, it appeared black. Upon closer review, the true colors of deep reddish brown came out. There was a thick, creamy head of about 1/2" that lowered to 1/4". Fantastic retention.

S - Although the smell was good, it was difficult to get. A little faint. Once I took a couple whiffs and then sipped and smelled again, the aroma got more prominent. It was good towards the end, but not very potent up front.

T - I got flavors similar to the beginning of an imperial brown or quad upfront. I think the slight sweetness made me think of the imperial brown, but overall I'd say quad. Cherries then began to smash the flavor. I had a tough time deciding what I thought about the fore-flavors because the cherries came on quickly. Red wine came to mind in the finish. Through the fist few sips, I was able to find the tartness of the cherries. However, it was not sour. I was finding more of the subtle tartness of a natural cherry than anything. As I drank, I began to appreciate that the cherries and natural tartness were there but not overpowering. Its a lot like if you were to take a drink of Rochefort, replace the bread flavor with cherries, and then ride the cherries out to the end. Although good, its lacking some complexity for the first few sips. So, so smooth though.

M - Good substance here. Moderate thickness with a creamy head. It was thick enough to make me happy and thin enough to make it drinkable. Great balance between the two for the "style".

O - Expectations aside, I was happy with the beer. I'd drink it regularly. Although the mellow cherry tartness is nice, I would enjoy something a little more sour here.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up some bottles from the release at Half Acre. Shared with my brother-in-law. Taken from notes.
Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a hazy brown mahogany color. About a finger of off white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Heavy currants and cherry, Belgian yeast, clove, nuttiness, and roasted malts.

Taste – Slightly tart at first but the more you sip the less tart it becomes. The flavors remind me of a brown ale with cherry and currant flavors mixed in. The Belgian yeast becomes more dominant as the beer warms, and as stated the tartness goes away and becomes a brown sugar/malty sweetness. I don’t know…the beer just seemed odd to me overall. I had a taste of it off the tap when I went to the release and remembered it tasting better than when I shared this with my brother-in-law. He too did not care for it and also mentioned it was reminiscent of a flavored brown ale.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation.

Overall – An interesting beer. Wish this was more tart and that the yeast and fruits mixed together better. I have one bottle left that I will be curious to see how it turns out with some age on it.

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served cool at 50º, it makes a huge difference.

Color looks to be a very dark rusty brown, nearly black, but when held to the light it glows a perfect crimson. Initial fingers width of light tan foam that recedes to a skim after a few minutes. The surface of the foam has a fine, creamy texture.

Belgian yeast aroma, reminiscent of a dark trappist with banana, clove, and brown sugar.

Low level natural cherry tartness, well integrated, fruit dominates with some earthy yeast and light toasty malt behind it. Something vaguely roasty or possibly woody in the middle. Low level phenolic spice, clove and cherry are melded well together, leaving a residual dry peppery spice. Full bodied, supple feel, with a tasty dark cherry flavor that thankfully isn't sweet. I enjoyed it more and more as it came up to room temperature.

SABM is a unique hybrid style, drawing inspiration from Belgian ales like Kasteel Rouge and Cuvée Van De Keizer. Cheers to Half Acre, Pipeworks, and De Struise on the successful collaboration.

Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Yulles
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Preismj
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: a hazy brownish red (mostly brown) with a tightly formed light brown head. decent lacing and looks medium-light in body.

s: hints of sour cherry and a slight breadiness. The aroma isn't too potent and the cherry is hidden a bit in there.

t: sour cherry up front, but it isn't strong. Would like to see some more sour here. Tasting Belgian yeast in the mid and the finish is slightly more sour with hints of darker fruits. very very light spice in this, could us a bit more more of the clove and cinnamon I detect.

m: rich and creamy. Nice body on it, with the perfect amount of carbonation for the flavor profile.

o: not a bad beer. Wish there was a bit more sour from the cherry flavor in here and a bit more spice from the belgian side. It isn't as rich in flavor as it could be for something at the 8%+ level. the mildness of this, though, makes it a nice summer brew, but overall was expecting a bit more balance in this one.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly darker then your normal ale. Lots of visible carbonation was evident from the start, chains of bubbles rippling up from the bottom of the glass. Lots of haze, literally made this opaque. Nice one inch thick white head receeded rather quicky leaving behind a thin film on top of the glass and a nice amount of lace drooping down the sides.

The smell was strong, and very fruity. Large hint of raspberry was readily apparent from the start. A very sugary aroma aroma was present as was a slight hint of grain in the back, slight hoppiness was present in the finsh, quite dry actually. Very smooth feel, great carbonation, led to that nice silky, bubbly light feeling. Overall the flavors were very very intense, and the fruit and hop flavors made the profile really jump out at you, and made it actually rather ejjoyable as the session wore on.

Photo of bepps
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of iadler
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split into two tulips.

A- Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. A huge slightly off white head slowly dissipates leaving some nice sheets of lacing and a cap that sticks around.

S- Tart cherries, brown sugar, peppery spice, toffee, coffee beans, dark chocolate and some grass. An interesting aroma for sure.

T- Tart cherries emerge first, followed by some coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, and some earthy/spice notes. Finishes with some red grapes and bit of metallic taste.

M- Medium carbonation and body with a dark fruit sourness and metallic finish.

O- A decent beer that is certainly different, but nothing outstanding. The flavors seem to clash with each-other a bit and there is this metallic taste that is noticeable. Not one of my favorites from Half Acre.

Photo of ronn
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of jpmclaug
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of GbVDave
4.53/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy, dirty red color with about 1/2 a finger of khaki colored foam on top. Head quickly melts down to a thin and bubbly collar that leaves small specks of lace behind. Some visible streams of carbonation.

S: Rich aromas of black cherry, vanilla, sweet currants, caramel, milk chocolate, pepper, and spices. Everything becomes more pronounced as it approaches room temperature.

T: Same as above. Temperature is the key with this one. The warmer it gets, the better it tastes. By the end of the glass, the cherry flavors were just incredible.

M: So rich and velvety. Sweetness is kept in check by a slightly peppery dryness. Finishes with just a hint of tartness. Masterful.

O: Wow. This was just killer. Thanks for brewing this, guys!

Photo of bstyle
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Kaydogg
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of alpenglocken
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Geist. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderately dark brown with a really nice off white head and loads of lacing on the way down. Good cap throughout. The nose has some cherry and dark fruits. A bit of oxidation in the nose. The flavor corresponds with all of this and adds a bit of dark malt. Medium body with plenty of fruit; semi dry finish. Okay.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine from Half Acre Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.